Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.
Whether we tap into our lived experiences or let our minds spin a thread, writing a book is a magical art form. While more than 80% of the population says they have always wanted to write, apparently 1 March% start and finish their book. Thought-provoking, isn’t it? If we were to carefully delve into the minds of those who never start or finish their books, what might be their biggest hindrance?
The good news is that as writers we can bring together all of our entrepreneurial and leadership skills and abilities that we can draw from. Strategy development, time management, innovation, effective marketing, continuous learning, agility and managing change are some of the many business skills that will improve an author’s life.
Related: How to Write a Book (and Actually Finish It) in 5 Steps
The “aha” pieces of the puzzle
What are the steps we need to take to realize our dream of writing that novel, manuscript or book? In my case, it was letting go of preconceived notions and embracing learning, growing, and connecting with the vibrant writing community as an aspiring author. As my fingertips dance across the keyboard, self-doubt evaporates in the mingling of words, characters, scenes, and settings. A few months ago I started writing my first book, a fiction novel. To my surprise, I finished my first draft in four weeks.
Let’s explore seven common obstacles and transform them into “aha!” moments that prompted you to write that book:
1. I don’t have time
Love them or not, plans, structures, and goals help us move forward. The same goes for writing a book. Can you find a time window in your average day to create the time? Nothing earth shattering. Can you establish a consistent writing pattern, perhaps a daily 30 minutes or a few hours every other day? If so, you are one step closer to your dream.
2. I don’t know how
Start with an idea and methods, formats or templates are available to develop that idea. I first made a sketch and expanded from there. Some authors follow their impulses without a sketch. There are helpful resources, such as writing software (like Scrivener), templates for developing stories (like Save the Cat), and of course, online grammar writing help like Grammarly. And there’s the vibrant writing community of editors, proofreaders, fellow authors, and readers, all of whom can help.
Related: 9 tips for staying motivated when writing a book
3. I need to be more creative
Over the years, this was a thought I kept repeating to myself. Putting pen to paper is a learning and growing process, just like the other facets of life. When I started baking sourdough bread, I didn’t expect my first loaf to be edible; in fact it was dense and flat. But my husband encouraged me and even proudly ate it. When editing, the experience can be daunting. It is writing, rewriting, revising, editing and rewriting. But it sharpens the subject. You have the option of working with professional editors who will tell you if your story feels too vague or flat. Not all successful authors are born writers and neither am I. But I enjoy the growing knowledge that envelops me like rays of sunshine as I edit and refine my story.
4. My first attempt is/was unsuccessful
It’s no surprise they’re called messy first drafts. Unless you choose to share it, your first draft is just for you to read. I still love my first draft though. During a writing seminar, the teacher told us that our story would probably be bleak if we didn’t rewrite 90% of our first draft. So when writing the first draft, the rule is write, write, write. No correction, no editing. This prevents us from judging our writing too early during the journey.
5. Publishing a book is too challenging
There are several publishing paths. The traditional route of working with an agent and publisher is an option, or you can access a specific provider to help you with writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. There is also self-publishing as an independent author. There are success stories for everyone; it is up to us to choose the right course of action and enjoy the path we choose.
Related: This Is the Future of Book Publishing
6. I am not comfortable putting my name out on the street
This is easy. Choose a pseudonym, a pseudonym. I have a pseudonym. For example, many great writers such as Stephen King and Agatha Christie used pseudonyms. There is no universal rule; you choose what you feel most comfortable with.
7. I have other obligations
Many authors manage successful careers while still having other commitments, be it a full-time job or something else. Many become full-time authors and authorpreneurs. So it’s not impossible.
Be it a fiction or non-fiction book, the writing journey ahead is like an uncoiling spool of ribbon, rolling and growing. As a result, my debut book will meet its readers in the summer of 2023.
Imagine you are sitting behind a table. You admire a stack of books in front of you. The room buzzes with excited laughter and chatter. A line of fans in front of you, one by one, and you sign their books. Imagine hearing someone tell you how much your book has meant to them. Imagine the spark in your eyes and the beam on your face.
Ah! It’s time to start! Let’s start writing and creating that story your future readers deserve.